Less than twelve hours after seeing Buffalo Tom perform an in-studio session at KEXP, Beth and I went to see them put on a proper concert at Neumos. The venue was crowded, but we still managed to get our spot against the wall over by the bar. Back support and access to free water are even more important than sight-lines these days.
We only had to wait a few minutes until the show began. Buffalo Tom played two sets with no opener. The first set consisted of hits and songs from the band’s new album, Quiet and Peace. That set looked like this:
Hits & New Songs: Sunflower Suit / Sodajerk / Roman Cars / Tree House / Summer / I’m Allowed / Rachael / All Be Gone / Birdbrain / Kitchen Door / Tangerine
“Roman Cars” and “All Be Gone” are both new songs; they’re also two of my favorite songs so far this year. I especially like “Roman Cars” as it’s fun to sing along to the “lights have changed” bit. As far as the rest of the set goes, it was pretty much one, non-stop highlight. It was especially nice to hear three songs from Big Red Letter Day. A lot of fans swear by Let Me Come Over, but I’ve always preferred the album that followed it. I also enjoyed hearing “Kitchen Door” and “Tangerine” close out the set. I like Sleepy Eyed a lot, too.
During the break between the sets, Beth and I went over and bought Quiet and Peace from the merch table. We took turns going over so that one of us was always guarding our wall space. Valuable real estate that.
The second set consisted of Buffalo Tom playing their album Let Me Come Over in its entirety. It should be pretty obvious what they played, but here’s that setlist all written out anyway:
Let Me Come Over: Staples / Taillights Fade / Mountains of Your Head / Mineral / Darl / Larry / Velvet Roof / I’m Not There / Stymied / Porchlight / Frozen Lake / Saving Grace
They apparently played Let Me Come Over all the way through to celebrate the album’s 25th anniversary. Although I like Buffalo Tom enough to fly 2,000 miles to see them play, I don’t like them so much as to have memorized the release dates of their individual albums. Still, I’m fairly confident that 2018 is actually the 25th anniversary of Big Red Letter Day. I’m not sure why they’re still doing Let Me Come Over celebration concerts. Maybe they had too many posters of that man in the red chair left over from last year. I don’t know.
Regardless, the Let Me Come Over set was something of a disappointment after all the hits and excellent new songs that opened the show. Although there are a lot of great songs on the album–“Taillights Fade” and “Velvet Roof” immediately come to mind–there are also a few weak tracks, particularly on the b-side. I found myself kind of tuning out once “Porchlight” had been played. I started imagining the encores. Unfortunately, the encores were also a bit disappointing.
Encore: Crutch / The Only Living Boy in New York (Simon & Garfunkel)
The band started off the encores with the extra track from the CD version of Let Me Come Over. Then they wrapped up the concert with the cover of “The Only Living Boy in New York” that appears as the last song on Quiet and Peace. Buffalo Tom did a great job with it, but I seriously doubt anyone in the audience was standing around hoping they’d end the show with a Simon & Garfunkel cover…especially when the band was still sitting on great songs like “Late at Night” and “Postcard”. Let’s face it, the only band who should end their concert with a Simon & Garfunkel song is Simon & Garfunkel.
But anyway, here’s a picture of all the Buffalo Tom-related stuff I had sitting around once we got home after the concert. You know, new album, old album, setlist book, and ticket stub.